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Southeast Asia would more likely face severe consequences of climate change than any other parts of the world, according to the latest research from the McKinsey Global Institute (MGI).
As Southeast Asia eyes expand its economy and a significant contributor to growth for the global market, the region must confront the critical circumstance that climate change may impact the landscape, said McKinsey, in a report.
While the whole world is focused on controlling the spread of coronavirus disease, which has resulted in a global recession, most governments have relegated its focus on climate change issues to counter the alarming health crisis.
As a region, Asia has occasionally dealt with environmental hazards such as flooding, severe typhoons, drought, and the dangerous conditions of rising heat and humidity.
“Covid-19 is highlighting the importance of risk and resilience to lives and livelihoods, and as the world focuses on recovery, it is important to not lose sight of the role that climate plays… Asia faces climate hazards with potentially severe socioeconomic impacts, and thus has a keen interest in playing a front-line role in addressing the challenges.”Jonathan Woetzel, MGI director
The report also added the impact on Southeast Asia has outlined foreseen consequences of extreme weather on the western part of the continent, which includes countries like India, Bangladesh, and Pakistan– the zone also known as the “Frontier Asia.”
The MGI estimates that “by 2050, between 500 million and 700 million people in Frontier Asia could live in regions that have an annual probability of a lethal heatwave of about 20 percent.”
If the continued worsening of coastal flooding caused by rising sea levels worldwide, an estimated value of trillions of dollars is at a high risk of being damaged, reports have estimated.
The MGI study, based on the World Resources Institute’s data, also concluded that the riverine flooding in a given year in Asia is on course to hit at least 75 percent of the global capital stock.
Several nations, which include Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam, part of the so-called Emerging Asia, are foreseen to have elevated levels of heat and humidity. It also adds that extreme precipitations in Indonesia are expected to increase three or four-fold come 2050.
Even though the implications proved to be hazardous, the report said that seeing infrastructures and urban areas still on the process of completion allows nations to build foundations that are more resilient to extreme climate changes and defy the severe calamities that may occur.
“Asia can potentially lead a global response by better incorporating climate risk in decision-making, pioneering adaptation technologies, and accelerating decarbonisation to mitigate the most severe potential consequences of climate change.”MGI study